After a hairy 24-hour period where it appeared Florida had worked out a deal to get Jim McElwain and his $7.5 million buyout out of Colorado State, and then it hadn’t, athletics director Jeremy Foley has landed his man.
Simply put, with as highly-publicized as this search has been, with Foley being photographed from the Fort Collins airport all the way to McElwain’s living room and Sports Illustrated and others criticizing his pursuit at every turn, Foley had to get this deal done.
And now he has.
McElwain went 22-16 in three seasons at Colorado State, improving from 4-8 his first year to 8-6 in 2013 and 10-2 this fall. A former Alabama offensive coordinator, the biggest question around McElwain is his fit at Florida. McElwain is a Montana native that filled his Colorado State staff with assistants hailing from the western portion of the country. Which is perfect for Colorado State, obviously, but not so much at Florida.
Billy Napier is about to get paid…either by Nick or by Mac. Interesting times my friends.
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) December 4, 2014
Napier was Alabama’s wide receivers coach under McElwain from 2008-11 and then followed him to Fort Collins in 2012 before returning to Alabama in 2013. McElwain is clearly a Napier fan, but Saban adores him as well.
As we told you two days ago, Foley and McElwain had already discussed keeping multiple members of Will Muschamp’s defensive staff.
Florida is the fourth FBS program to fill its head coaching vacancy in the 2014-15 hiring season, following Troy (Neal Brown), Buffalo (Lance Leipold) and SMU (Chad Morris). And with McElwain’s departure, Colorado State joins Michigan, Nebraska, Tulsa and UNLV among programs with head coaching vacancies.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.